HELLO


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Something always compelled me to tell the story, to document and visually craft the inspiration I saw around me. So, with what feels like years in my subconscious and a few sleepless weeks this summer (not without the help of my dear friend Phil @ Fillainy+Co.), the Caffeine Chaser profiles were born. These profiles aim to highlight entrepreneurial creatives who serve their customers by connecting them not only with their neighbors but the greater community. These people add depth and dimension to their neighborhoods as the city gems that we all seek to discover when we travel.

Suggestions, ideas, and comments, welcome. I’d love for you to follow along and join me on this ambitious journey I’ve set out for myself.

Welcome to Caffeine Chaser.

24 Hours in Philadelphia


City of Brotherly Love (but also home to the Barnes Foundation, which has one of the world’s largest collections of Impressionist art). Naturally I took two great brothers with me @j1kim + @jakewittman for a brief stopover with friends @heykatekelly, @rachelko, @nolanaustinburger.


9:00am power breakfast at the sleek wm mulherin & sons, a sleek boutique hotel in fishtown

10:00am arrive to meet kate at reanimator coffee

12:00pm midcentury modern warehouse – open to the public once a month on the second sunday from 12-3pm. I showed up in mom overalls ready to pilfer the selection

2:00pm lunch at pizzeria vetri – contested as one of the best pies in Philly

3:00pm stopover at the Barnes – careful, don’t show up too late or they might sell out of the day’s last tickets! john bought the last one. no photos allowed FYI but the art collection is worth it

8:00pm dinner with nolan, rachel at banh mi & bottles – they have a pho broth dip with the brisket banh mi. life changing

11:00pm holy trinity night (bey, riri, minaj) at dolphin tavern 

1:00am spontaneous & patriotic visit to the independence hall, liberty bell

8:00am breakfast at one of reading terminal’s many food stalls before heading out
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Journy On


A thought I had the other day-don’t stop moving. Travel within your means and make the most of life. This holiday season I’ve put on my Santa hat to offer you all one free Journy itinerary day guide to a city of your choice. Want in? Shoot me a message and say hi.

Here are some postcards from a Journy-lead Paris trip with @leitihsu and @lusttforlife

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Order of appearance: Olivia & Shots of Septime, Rue Saint Honore, Broken Arrow Coffee, Seasons cafe, and private studio collection showing at Moynat (courtesy of Olivia). 


Categories: Thoughts

Spot Highlight: Septime


I’ve been lucky to eat at some darn good places, but Septime completely floored me after I walked in. French sensibility and a rustic and hearty air about the place. The Nordic touches to the food and plating caught my eye, though the Parisian waitress did laugh at my attempt to ask for more butter in French (le beurre, s’il vous plait). Guess that comes with the territory of attempting French with a Parisian. And asking for more butter.

Septime as noted by David Lebovitz: “Chef Bertrand Grébaut doesn’t seem to want to (or need to) resort to any culinary tricks; he’s just using good ingredients sensibly. And his presentations are beautiful.”

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Recommendations made to me by Journy, custom itinerary guides for every city tailored for the modern traveler.

One Year Old – A Recap w/ Framebridge


Currently sitting in my favorite San Francisco shop writing this: @sightglass

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It’s crazy how one year flies by. I started Caffeine Chaser a year ago on the idea that I wanted to share more stories and connect with the community, and its taken me to Melbourne, New York, Berlin and Barcelona. Even with all the momentum driving me to move forward, sometimes its important to stop and look back and I’ve been able to do that with the help of Framebridge.

Here are some of the photos that never made it out of the archive:

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Pictured: Tartine Bakery in SF, Ivan Marquez in LA, Coava in Portland, Brian and I in NYC, Seattle, Journy press trip in Berlin and Barcelona, and Jess Hannah and Tyler Thomas.

I hit a few milestones this year. Finished the first year of law school, Caffeine Chaser hit the one year mark, and I went through a few quarter life crises every other day or so in the meantime over careers, love, and friendships. In all honesty the growing pains were the best kind of motivational steroids to become better and be better; fear is healthy, it keeps you humble and hungry. Lately I’ve only committed to some small things: get up early, read everyday, and invest in strong mentors. As for the long term goals, those are still a work in progress. What are yours? Hit me in the DM and let’s discuss.

Framebridge made it easy to commemorate the milestones. They print and frame your Instagram photos/files, or they can send prepaid packaging for you to mail in custom art pieces. When they suggested I celebrate some of the moments I’ve shot this year, all I had to do was upload some of my film scans and these bad boys came in the mail 2 weeks after I ordered them.

Ollieframebridgej.hannahtyler thomasj.hannahj.hannahremyST2A1191ST2A1292IMG_8048Here’s to a year of CC, thanks for being a part of it. If you want to give Framebridge a go, use my friends + family code: CAFFEINECHASER15 to get 15% off your first purchase till Sept 31st. Snapchat me a picture of whatever you frame! @caffeinechaser


Done in collaboration with Framebridge. All jewelry by J.Hannah, pets bribed with the help of Tyler Thomas.


Couple Catalog: J + B


Ben and Jordan have been a couple for 2 years and some months.

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You two were long distance for a while. How’d you meet?

Jordan: We met in May 2013 in Santa Monica and went on three dates within a week and a half of meeting each other. The long distance meant we went back and forth for a majority of the time we were together – he would be here in LA fall and spring and would be in another state in the summer or in England for the winter before finally moving here. For the past year (after a semi-ultimatum and a job change), he’s been in California!

What are some survival techniques on making long distance last?

Ben: If you really care about each other, two months is nothing when you’re committed to making it work. Long distance sucks! Especially with an 8-hour time difference.

Some advice – visit each other as much as you can. It was frustrating being apart most of the time, but it was fun to look forward to seeing each other again – especially in new cities that we hadn’t been in together. We also made a point to see each other on special occasions. Both winters we were able to spend NYE together. And one year, 4th of July in Hawaii. One summer I was working in New Mexico for a bit, so Jordan booked a one-way flight to me so we could road trip from Albuquerque to Sedona back to LA.

Does your mom like Jordan?

Ben: My mum is a big fan of her. So are my dad and brother. They’re very supportive of us, even though they weren’t quite sure why she was dating me, haha.

Relationship advice?

Jordan: Date a guy who really wants to be with you – one you don’t have to convince. If you have to convince someone to be with you, he’s just not that into you. And probably will never be into you the way you want him to be.

What made you realize this?

Jordan: One thing I look back on is a text I sent him when he came back to LA after being away the first summer. Some guy had invited me to a Lakers game and I didn’t really know where Ben and I stood, so I texted him: “This might be a stupid question, but are we exclusive?” And he replied with: “I don’t know about you, but I’ve thought that for a while.”

It’s just funny to think about because it was clear we liked each other and were only seeing each other, but I just wasn’t used to a guy being so… committed. And I’m sure most girls (in LA) can relate. It was weird to meet someone who actually wanted a girlfriend because in LA I feel like guys – my friends, ones I’d meet out, ones my friends would date – would always say that they aren’t looking for anything serious. Ben was intentional and straightforward. I love that about him.

We’ve all seen Legally Blonde. What’s your bend and snap? 

Jordan: Sometimes I let him put on soccer on the TV. Maybe my classic bend and snap is being able to talk about basketball. He asked me out while we were flirt fighting over which NBA team we root for. On Snapchat.

Three traits you look for in a partner?

Ben: Intelligent, funny and motivates me to be better.


P.S. Thanks for loaning us your couch, Jess + Ty

You’re Invited – February 4th


IMG_0644My good friends at Maketto asked me to host an event in their community space. How could I turn them down? These are the kind of events I dream about. Maketto 1351 is part coffeeshop, part Taiwanese-Cambodian restaurant/bar/community space that brings people together with weekly events, and I’m honored to help them do that.

You’re invited. All proceeds support a local non-profit. Hot coffee on tap, some dad jokes, and a guaranteed good time. If you can’t make it, no biggie, hop on the mailing list and I’ll send you the slides after.

Maketto 1351 H St NE, Washington DC | Thursday, February 4th 4-6pm

RSVP HERE

 

24 Hours in Berlin with Journy


CaffeineChaser_JournyBerlinCaffeineChaser_JournyBerlin (1) CaffeineChaser_JournyBerlin (2)CaffeineChaser_JournyBerlin (4)More like 12 hours. I had a blast crashing with the Journy team at their HQ in Berlin, shooting headshots for the founders of the company, and working on their journyxbarcelona press trip.

While in Berlin, they suggested I experience their custom-made travel with a guide for my 24 hours in the city. 

Here are some of the spots they recommended me:

Voo Store – a concept shop carrying everything from luxury apparel, fresh roasted coffee beans, and a stunning array of aesthetically pleasing magazines. Dip inside this alley to the store and you’ll find yourself wanting to purchase a Helmut Lang coat, a travel guide of Berlin, or both.

Happy Baristas – Berlin is reputable for their burgeoning coffee scene, and they recommended this shop for the architecturally stellar interior design and the pleasant (and actually happy) service staff.

Shops in Kreuzberg – In my exact words to the Journy team I said “No tourist spots. Think: Hipster Heatmap”…which lead them to recommend walking the shops and restaurants along Kreuzberg, which included great local spots like Aunt Bennys. 


Curious to know what you think of their experience, give em a try. They’ll tailor your custom travel itinerary based off YOUR interests as a traveler, make hotel recommendations, and arrange pesky restaurant reservations in Japanese (if need be). They do it all.

For a limited time, get 25% off your first itinerary with my friends and family code, “CAFFEINECHASER.” Happy traveling.

Couple Catalog: R + P


I’ve started a new series called “hot friends who = #relationshipgoals”

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There’s not very much forethought behind it, other than that all couples have a story to tell and the ones I highlight are no different.

I caught Ray + Doc P on one of their first few dates at Maketto.

When I asked what makes a relationship last, Ray’s response was: communication, genuine admiration, & laughter.


Shot on E6 Slide Film.

SPOT HIGHLIGHT: LUNE CROISSANTERIE


While in Melbourne asking around for the local recommendations (typical), I happened to hear about this famous croissanterie, infamous for having the best pastries in the city. But here’s the catch. You had to get there by 5:30am to nab a spot in line.

It sounds crazy, and when I first heard of it, I was in disbelief. Who wakes up at 5am to get a spot in line, grab a coveted ticket, and reappear at 7:30 to wait for the croissants to come out? I refused to do it. It sounded ludicrous. I put my foot down. I wasn’t going to do it.

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I did it. My good friends I’d met in a coffeeshop the day before: the guys behind Mile End Bagels and Flatiron Melbourne, were kind enough to take me to Lune all the way in the outskirts of Elwood on my last morning before flying back home. And by take me to Lune I mean they demanded my address and showed up outside my place at 5:15 sharp, shouting at me to get in the car as I struggled to wake up and roll out of bed to do this bizarre, but beautiful thing that could only happen in a city like Melbourne.

I’m going to be honest with you. Lune’s ham and gruyere croissant is the best I’ve ever had. You only get a maximum 6 pastries per ticket per person by the way; its a small sister-brother operation with limited counter space. Other suspects on their list: Coconut Pandan Croissant, Pain Au Chocolat, Frangipane, and an assortment of cruffin flavors ranging from lemon curd to raspberry chocolate. It was one of those moments where you just enjoy life and eat croissants, forgive me for only taking two photos.

But I do want to take a moment to point out 1. Either how crazy or dedicated the people of Melbourne can be for doing this on a regular basis and 2. How sometimes you don’t need the extraneous business details to build a successful concept. Forget it all and focus on one kickass product.


Lune Croissanterie closed up their small shop in Elwood as of yesterday, they’ll be opening a larger operation in Fitzroy come summer. Read about them here on the Wall Street Journal.


Categories: Profiles

Life Hacks Tip #1 – Google Photos


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CaffeineChaser_Google 7 CaffeineChaser_Google 6 CaffeineChaser_Google 5CaffeineChaser_GoogleI’m all about life hacks that simplify your workflow and streamline the tedious tasks. So let me do you a solid and share one with you here: Download Google Photos.

Here’s why:

-I now have an Assistant…that filters my photos, organizes them into a collections, and puts together animations of my 500+ photos (and counting) of coffee.

-UNLIMITED high quality photo storage. Yea, I said it. Unlimited. And it takes all the photos and syncs them on to your Google Drive. Bingo.

-Search Functionality. This baby analyzes your photos and categorizes them so that you can search for things seamlessly. Vacation photos, dog pics, cat selfies, you name it.

-Easy Scrolling. Okay this might be the most underrated part about the app. At this moment I have 4,596 photos on my phone, and my thumbs get tired of scrolling endlessly to look for the old photos I have stashed way back in the depths of 2014 and beyond. So here’s my confession: I’m a photo hoarder and this function saves my fingers a lot of painful scrolling.

Put to the Test:

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Google celebrated the launch of Photos with a series of Wafel & Dinges pop-ups all weekend in NYC. We had 20 seconds to search your photos to find a random object: a bridge, a mountain, an alley, and if you won the challenge, you could #PayWithAPhoto for a freakin’ delicious speculoos waffle. Using the Photos app I found my photo of a bike in 3 seconds flat and even sweet-talked the W&D team for some extra ice cream on top. Can’t get any sweeter than that.

New York is all about the hustle. This city is running fast-paced, 24/7, and sometimes the small things in life are the ones that make the biggest difference. In this day and age we could all use an assistant on our side, and Google Photos might just do the trick. Check it out for yourself.

Running around New York with the new Google Photos App in hand:

Bystanders and Various Hand Models: Daniel Nguyen | Olivia Lopez | Nathan Chen | Fliickman | Jess HannahBobby Halvorson | Phil Rhie


This post was done in collaboration with Google Photos.